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Persuasion

Persuasion

Written by Jane Austen

Narrated by Anne Flosnik


Persuasion

Written by Jane Austen

Narrated by Anne Flosnik

ratings:
4/5 (193 ratings)
Length:
8 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Jun 30, 2008
ISBN:
9781400176861
Format:
Audiobook

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Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description

Jane Austen's final novel is the story of Anne Elliot, a woman who gets a second chance. As a teenager she becomes engaged to a man who seems perfect for her, Frederick Wentworth. But she is persuaded to break the engagement off by her friend Lady Russell, who believes that he is too poor to be a suitable match. The episode plunges Anne into a period of bleak disappointment.



Eight years later, Frederick returns from the Napoleonic Wars flushed with success. Anne's circumstances have also changed; her father's spendthrift ways mean he has been forced to lease the family home to a naval family. Will Anne and Frederick rediscover their love? Can their changed fortunes inhibit their feelings? Persuasion is a story of self-knowledge and personal regeneration, of social change and emotional politics. It is Austen's most mature work, and also her most wickedly satirical.
Publisher:
Released:
Jun 30, 2008
ISBN:
9781400176861
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

About the author

Jane Austen (1775-1817) was an English writer who first gave the novel its distinctively modern character through her treatment of ordinary people in everyday life. Her six novels have become timeless classics because Austen's astonishingly diverse characters all insist on their private judgment as an innate right even in the most confining circumstances. Few other books present such fully rendered individuals whose actions captivate readers to this very day.


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What people think about Persuasion

4.1
193 ratings / 246 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    This is one of my, possibly my absolute, favourites of Jane Austen's major works (I've not managed to read everything, yet...) It's not the wittiest, I think, though the humour is very much in evidence, but it's the sweetest romance.Anne Elliot, having fallen in love as a young woman, but having dutifully declined a proposal of marriage, lives with her older sister, Elizabeth, and father, the baronet Sir Elliot at Kellynch Hall. Unlike Anne, they are very vain about their place in the peerage, but are careless about the duties of a landowner. Her younger sister, Mary, is married into the Musgrove family, and is also proud of the notice due to an Elliot of Kellynch Hall. When the Elliots decide to move to Bath, Anne stays first with her sister Mary and the Musgroves, and then continues on to Bath. At both these places, she finds herself thrown into company with the man she still loves. Her feelings for him have not changed, but he - now a man of fortune - is no longer interested in her. How will Anne find the happiness in life that she so richly deserves?I do like this book, mainly, as I said, for the romance. But I like the comfortable family life portrayed in this Austen, which, offhand, I don't think we get in any of her other books. The Musgroves senior and the Crofts enjoy life, and are happiest when they have lots of other people around them who enjoy life, too.Although Anne is neglected by her own family, her friends see her value, and she is not as timid or put-upon as Fanny, of Mansfield Park. As a heroine, she has a quiet, purposeful dignity.And I think, of all the Austens I've read, this has the happiest ending.
  • (5/5)
    I say this a lot, but it's been a very long time since I read Persuasion. I know the movie (Ciaran Hinds & Amanda Root, the only one worth watching) very very well, and it was a pure joy to be reminded of how utterly and beautifully faithful it is to the book, and another joy to be reminded of all of the elements that did not make it into the film. Karen Savage's reading was lovely and just enhanced my enjoyment of the story.Sparing Goodreads my ponderings on the Defense of Frederick and Why I Hate Lady Russell; they can be found on my blog.
  • (5/5)
    I enjoyed this book so much more on my second read. In my opinion, it still doesn't beat Pride and Prejudice, but it it a good one!
  • (3/5)
    When Louisa stumbled, I sighed and, yet, continued through the remainder of the book. I knew that Mr. Scott would be unmasked and that all would be well. The flimsy layers did trouble me greatly. I don't know whether it is national chauvinism or some maudlin coddling but how is it that most consider Austen to be superior to Balzac?

    On a personal level, this was likely the only book given to me by the mother of a woman I was seeing.
  • (5/5)
    Lovely and fun book of Victorian era.
  • (3/5)
    As an audiobook I found I enjoyed this more than Little Women.
  • (2/5)
    I don't get all the literary aplomb about this book. I didn't find it to be anything special.
  • (4/5)
    Persuasion is a classic, and a charming one! It follows twenty-something Anne as she navigates the path to almost certain spinsterhood. She had a love once, but gave it up due to the expectations of her family and their certainty she could get a "better match." Fast forward: she didn't. But...she might have a second chance.Anne's "late in life" (for the time period) love story is the main plot driver in the book, however my favorite part was her observations, and the comments of, her family and friends. The book is quite savage toward the stuffy upper crust and it was actually laugh out loud funny at parts. It is partially set in Bath, England, where Austen did live, and I think a lot of the author's own feelings toward the people around her were coming out here in a thinly veiled way. Great, short read!
  • (3/5)
    (Original Review, 1981-02-25)I think it's evident, once one steps back from an emotional response to the novel, that it would have benefited from some editing and expanding by Austen, had she lived.I can see the flaws in it. It seems disjointed and overly episodic, and I think the excursion to Lyme is a bit forced into the narrative although I believe it’s essential to the novel. The trip to Lyme is essential: the flirtation between Wentworth and Louisa comes to a crash, he can see Anne's steadiness, and we can see her lack of romantic desperation—her grit in the teeth, not of poverty (bad enough), but of loneliness—… and it's all by the sea, place of both voyage and anchorage. On reflection I've found the Mrs. Smith episode slightly unbelievable as well - not in the sense that Anne wouldn't visit her now that she's fallen on hard times, but that she would so serendipitously know all about Anne's scheming suitor (a scene or two of Mrs. Smith, where she and Anne could have some interaction beyond her being an information booth, might've been flesh rather than padding.) Wentworth's letter to Anne, on the other hand. . . what a sublime piece of literature, all on its own; I have to admit also that I felt a bit of a hot flush myself on reading Wentworth's letter to Anne... If I'm in the right frame of mind, I can actually get palpitations reading it :-).I think Austen herself found the ending problematic. She rewrote it at least once--originally, the concluding chapters were fewer and shorter, and the denouement was to have occurred when Anne and Wentworth accidentally end up alone together at her father's house, and explanations ensue. I think what we have now is at least better than that.This theme of a love from the past that recurs over and over and over again in literature, especially from or set in this period, is completely alien to me. I accept that everyone's experience is individual, but I've never had an unrequited love and whenever I've met any of my partners from my youth, even the best ones, I've never felt much in the way of regret, let alone proclaimed: "they must be mine again!"I do like the idea of two people who were "in love" having to come to terms with dealing with each other now. But I've never liked this (or any) of these pop culture memes that make teenage sensations the epitome of human existence and experience! Don't get me wrong, I like romance and I see how themes of escapism can be explored and how a dynamic contrast can be useful in a narrative, but still, find it so weird. It's pretty normal to think of missed opportunities in terms of second chances, not just in romance (in this, you confess to being unusually well-adjusted to your own past), but in education, business, friendship, family connections, and so on. In this case, it might seem a bit Hollywood, that the couple, well-matched when one is convinced to reject the other, are even more perfectly suited after he gets rich and she finds even lonely toil preferable to any other suitor. You sometimes see this criticism of Shakespeare's comedies: so much turmoil results, with a bit of happy accident, in the first day of a happy marriage. But that sense of 'comedy' is a vision of life, of fertility and regeneration, that coexists (for many) alongside the grime and sleaze and villainy that Shakespeare exults weirdly in, and that Austen shows menacing from first page (Sir Walter's stupid vanity) to nearly the last (William Elliot's… well, read it and see).It's not that 'comedy', in the sense of romantic happy endings, is Hollywood, but rather, that 'Hollywood' is mutilation and degradation, a bastardization, of a human instinct for fecundity, even as tragedy is confrontation with the limits of health and strength.It seemed that for the first half of the book not a lot happens other than people moving house, or "popping round for a chat." When Louisa abruptly jumps off the wall and lands on her noggin, the interest perked up a bit, particularly as she seemed to be dead - then it turned out she's just got a concussion. For me, it wasn't until Anne finds out the truth about her cousin from Mrs. Smith that the tension you describe really began for me - then the whole underlying tension between her and Wentworth really starts to go from simmering to boiling.
  • (1/5)
    While I admire Jane Austen’s eloquent language, a gripping plot is not in evidence here. I didn’t expect fast-paced excitement but did hope for something deeper. It's the only Austen novel I've read that features no memorable or larger-than-life characters. Mary was quite amusing with all her complaining, but this wasn't enough to keep me hooked.Apart from a few comedy moments, plus Louisa's accident, I found this story quite a bore. My mind kept wandering and the only reason I didn't give up on it was because I listened to an audiobook version.
  • (5/5)
    Jane Austen is known for her romances, but there is far less romance in Persuasion than there is a saga of intricate family dynamics, with a nicely played romance playing in the background. It brings into focus Anne Elliot, now my favorite among all of Jane Austen's characters that I have come to know so far. From the perspective of her immediate family, she is quite insignificant. Her opinion matters not in the least, and they think her useless in nearly every way, but she is just the opposite. Anne is the most decent of all human beings within the book, and is the one who saves her family in times of all sorts of trouble.As always, Austen includes the most unlikable sorts. The ones that are so much fun to dislike, so silly that they are entertaining, and ones who are made to make the main character stand out from their sort. Anne's father is the shallowest of all shallow people, and her sister, Mary, is the most pathetic of jealous, self-centered, selfish, attention seekers one could ever imagine. All of them attempting to hide their flaws under a layer of sophisticated class, which makes it all the more entertaining.One of the last things that I expected to see in an Austen book is a character who has some ideas of progressive thinking like Anne does while retaining her femininity. She has a lovely way of looking at the differences between men and women and seeing how they both have struggles that are exclusive to their sex, as well as strengths that each is gifted with, and sees how a pair is better off for it.
  • (5/5)
    I love this book so much, and Anne Elliot is right up there with Elizabeth Bennet as my favorite Austen character.
  • (4/5)
    my second favourite jane austen novel. i love how after several years, anne still loves captain wentworth and how they reclaim their love together :)
  • (3/5)
    Thematisch grotendeels een doorslagje van de andere romans, vooral inzake emoties en afloop. Thema van de persuasion overheerst niet echt, zo wordt niet goed uitgewerkt waarom Anne Wentworth indertijd afwees. Wel weer mooie society-inkijk. Ook stilistisch zeer sterk vooral in de groepsdynamica en de introspectie in de wereld van Anne (dikwijls ook geluid en blik).
  • (3/5)
    I love these sort of books and i really wanted to like this one, but i just kept getting irritated and lost. I just wanted someone to say what they meant and stop talking in inuendo. I wanted anne to stop calling her best friend mrs smith, and louisa to act like an adult, and mary to take responsibility for herself. What a boring time when days were spent in front parlours. Iwill come back to jane austen but i wont visit this family again
  • (3/5)
    this one started so well for me but lost me halfway. I think I would have liked it more if I had studied it in school. all the social class stuff is a little lost on me now that I don't study literature anymore and I don't get that deeper knowledge and subsequent appreciation for what Austen has written
  • (3/5)
    A woman still loves the man she dumped years ago.Good. This is the first book from this era that I've read, and it was pretty hard at first to care about a story from such an alien culture. You wait for most of the book for one of these two characters to just tell the other one they like them already. It's weirdly satisfying when they finally do.
  • (5/5)
    Guess who found her new favorite Jane Austen novel???? J.K.! Emma will always hold a place in the center of my heart but Persuasion, it's older cool sister replaces Pride and Prejudice as the book I'll read on the days where I'm sick in bed.All I remember from the first time I read it as a wannabe 14 year old hipster that thought she was so cool because she read classic novels and listened to alternative punk music is that this book was so dumb because Anne should've just moved on or give Lady Russell the finger and do what she wanted. I'm certain I'm not the only one cringing. Clearly, I hadn't enough attention to the character of Anne Elliot because she is exactly the type of woman I've always wanted to be: intelligent, attractive, highly spoken of, truly a kind person. It's so easy to be persuaded at a young age to do or feel anything. Anne was motherless it's only natural she would cling to the next mother figure in her life. I finally get it, Lady Russell wasn't wrong, there was no guarantee this dashing young Frederick Wentworth was going to provide her a secure lifestyle and for all she knew he could die at sea at any given moment. Would Anne be able to survive on her own without him? The irony is that at 14 the persuasions of the cool high schoolers I was hanging out with were definitely molding me into something that I thought was better for me which luckily worked out pretty well.Perhaps I'm older and wiser now that I finally understand why Captain Wentworth's love surpasses most if not all other Austen heroes. Eight years is a long time to hold on to a love that nearly crushed you. He's not subtle like Mr. Darcy when it comes to showing affection and he's definitely not an obvious flirt like a certain Tilney (bae), but there's an interesting tell when it comes to his feelings towards our heroine to the point that if you're not careful enough, it may have to be explained to you...which Austen does in the end. But it was so satisfying reading the progression to that part (!!!)Anne Elliot is not so bland in my mind anymore, before I had always lumped her with the pushover Catherine and weak Fanny. We shall never speak of the Dashwood sisters...unless you want to read a rant. Anne was beyond her era and I am here for it. The shade thrown around this book was all over the place and for once the villain was unapologetically villainous with a satisfying ending, at least to me that is. I still say Wickam should've been thrown off a cliff.
  • (5/5)
    My favorite Austen
  • (5/5)
    Nice to revisit.
  • (4/5)
    This was the first Austen book I read and so I didn't have too many expectations going into it. I had heard that Persuasion was one book of Austen's that does not get the hype it deserves. I'm not sure I agree with that. I didn't love it and I didn't hate it. As it is a romance novel I was hoping for a bit more... I don't know, romance? Nothing really progressed between Wentworth and Anne until the last 100ish pages. However, Austen is so witty and I absolutely enjoyed the interactions between pretty much all the characters.
  • (4/5)
    I did not like it at first but as the story unravels, I find it good. I don't know why I read the theme of unrequited love nowadays lol. But this book is a Jane Austen's novel so I know it will have a happy ending, and it did.

    Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth were parted for eight and a half years but they still have feelings for each other. It was just acted upon the last two chapters of the book. It is because during the past years, Anne was persuaded by her friend Lady Russell that Wentworth was not worthy of her so she declined his marriage proposal.

    This is my most favorite part:

    "I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means
    as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony,
    half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings
    are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart
    even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years
    and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman,
    that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you.
    Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been,
    but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath.
    For you alone, I think and plan. Have you not seen this?
    Can you fail to have understood my wishes? I had not waited even
    these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write..."
  • (3/5)
    Thematisch grotendeels een doorslagje van de andere romans, vooral inzake emoties en afloop. Thema van de persuasion overheerst niet echt, zo wordt niet goed uitgewerkt waarom Anne Wentworth indertijd afwees. Wel weer mooie society-inkijk. Ook stilistisch zeer sterk vooral in de groepsdynamica en de introspectie in de wereld van Anne (dikwijls ook geluid en blik).
  • (3/5)
    3.5 stars. I think that this would have been a 3 star read if not for Austen's writing style, but I just love Austen's style so much. I didn't care too much about the characters or plot or anything, but I still found it enjoyable. There were several clever comments made about the disadvantages experienced by women in this time that I appreciated so much. Also, the satire regarding the vanity of Anne's family was hysterical.
  • (4/5)
    This is my favorite of all of Jane Austen's books, and Ann Eliot is my favorite - and probably most believable - of Austen's heroines. I just have to cheer when she foils her silly, snobbish father and waltzes off with the now-rich Captain Wentworth.. This book is a gem in every way.
  • (4/5)
    Beautiful romance, the 'good' characters receive their rewards.
  • (5/5)
    I loved this book! Not that there's ever really any doubt with Austen - lady really knew how to put a story together! This novel is about a spinster character (~30 years old) who carries the regret of having rejected a proposal from a poor member of the navy when she was younger, on the advice of her snobby narcissistic family - and who then is reintroduced to him as a wealthy and distinguished naval officer a decade later, when he's involved in courting a teenaged relative of hers. It's a fun one; you can kind of sense the direction the book will take but at the same time there are some good surprises and it's such a fun ride, you find yourself actively rooting for the outcome you know/hope will eventually arrive. Great airport read!
  • (3/5)
    It's been many years since I read a Jane Austen novel. Would I like her as much now as I did when I read her PRIDE AND PREJUDICE and EMMA? I was 14 then. Answer: no. Or is it fair to compare those novels to PERSUASION, which was published after Austen died?I don't remember needing to reread many paragraphs in order to understand them when I read PRIDE AND PREJUDICE and EMMA. But that is exactly why it took me a week to read PERSUASION, which is short and should have been a quick read.Another problem with PERSUASION was probably also the same in PRIDE AND PREJUDICE and EMMA. That is, the whole story is about nothing but romance. When I was younger, that appealed to me. Now I want more.Maybe Austen intended to do some rewrites on PERSUASION before she published it. We'll never know.
  • (4/5)
    Jane Austen once wrote that Anne Elliott, the heroine of her final novel, Persuasion, was "too good for me," and I cannot help but echo her sentiments. A woman of great good sense, utterly lacking in snobbery or pretension (despite her father's "elevated" status as a baronet), Anne seems to possess an almost flawless self-control, that, when paired with her self-sacrificing attention to the needs of others, and patient endurance of the many slights she receives at the hands of her unworthy family, makes me want to shake her...Her one flaw, which arises from her virtues, and which forms the crux of this astute examination of love lost and then found again, is that she is too easily persuaded. Having been convinced some years before to sacrifice her attachment to the man she loved, Anne finds herself confronted - at the ripe old age of twenty-seven! - with her spurned love, and with the consequences of her choice.I enjoyed Persuasion immensely, and was not at all surprised to discover that it was Austen's final novel, written as she was slipping into the illness which would cause her death. Not as bright as some of her other work, it still has that pointed Austen wit, which, when combined with more mature themes, makes for a deeply satisfying read.
  • (4/5)
    Reading Jane Austen is like drinking a perfectly made cup of tea, late in the afternoon. Her prose is so smooth and comforting and perfectly elegant. I really enjoyed Persuasion, more than I expected to. Austen seemed to really explore the motivations and interactions of her characters. The breathless and romantic ending was delightfully swoony as well. :)